For three quarters, Coach Adam Dennis’ Switzerland County Pacer varsity basketball team bested host South Ripley.
But it was the game’s first quarter, finishing decidedly in favor of the Raiders, that proved to be too big of a hole to climb out of, and the Pacers lost by a final score of 69-62.
The first eight minutes of the contest told the story, as South Ripley outscored Switzerland County 19-8 to take an 11-point lead into the first break.
The Pacers got baskets in the period from Kollin Hayes, Ben Curran, Hunter Hayes and Justin Green; but the defense couldn’t contain hot-shooting Raider Brady Meyer, who had 10 points by himself in the opening period.
After that slow first quarter, however, Switzerland County began to turn things around and began to battle their way back into the contest.
In the second quarter, the Pacers outscored the Raiders by a 15-14 margin, with a balanced offensive effort keeping South Ripley off balance.
Caleb Furnish and Riley Phagan each had three-pointers in the period; while Ben Curran had three points on a basket and a freethrow.
Dakota Fuller and Hunter Hayes each contributed baskets; while Justin Green converted a pair of freethrows.
South Ripley got some outstanding outside shooting from Elijah Roepke, who had four three-pointers in the second quarter to lead the Raiders.
Still, at the half South Ripley held a 33-23 lead.
The third quarter saw the Pacer offense get hot, with Caleb Furnish leading the way.
The junior sharpshooter had three three-pointers in the period; while Kollin Hayes also had a three-pointer to go with a pair of freethrows; and Riley Phagan made another three-pointer.
Ben Curran continued to work had inside, accounting for two more buckets in the stanza; but South Ripley accounted for 19 points in the third, so with a quarter to play, the Raiders still held a 52-44 advantage.
The final quarter saw Switzerland County continue to battle, but South Ripley’s defense held just tightly enough and its offense got some key baskets and critical times, and the Pacers couldn’t put together a big enough run to get back into the game.
Switzerland County outscored South Ripley 18-17 in the final quarter; as Hunter Hayes accounted for six points; and Ben Curran had four more. Dakota Fuller, Kollin Hayes, and Justin Green each had baskets; and Caleb Furnish converted two freethrows.
South Ripley, meanwhile, got seven points in the final period from Brady Meyer; and Elijah Roepke had five more.
After a long battle, the Switzerland County comeback ran out of time, and South Ripley emerged with a69-62 victory.
Caleb Furnish, on the strength of four three-pointers, led Switzerland County with 14 points; while Ben Curran finished with 13 points and Hunter Hayes made it three in double figures, as he had 10.
Kollin Hayes just missed double figures, finishing with nine points on the evening; while Justin Green and Riley Phagan each added six points and Dakota Fuller had four.
Elijah Roepke led South Ripley with 22 points; and Brady Meyer finished with 21 points.
Both teams converted 16 field goals, with the Raiders making two more three-pointers – 9 to 7 – and also one more freethrow, 10 to the Pacers’ nine.
In the jayvee game, South Ripley squeaked by the Pacers, 48-46.
Dolan Springer led Switzerland County with 15 points and also had six rebounds; while Jacob Turner was in double figures with 12 points, and recorded three rebounds.
Kyle Whitham had six points and three rebounds; Casper Stow had four points and three rebounds; Justin Chatham added four points, two rebounds, and two assists; Andrew Youngblood had three points; and Austin South added two points and two rebounds. Zack Wainscott had four rebounds in the game.
The Pacers look to get back on the winning track tomorrow (Friday) night when they host Rising Sun for Homecoming. Switzerland County then plays host to Trinity Lutheran on Saturday night.
The junior varsity games begin at 6 p.m. both nights.